AM Best confirms credit ratings of Athene Holding Ltd. and its subsidiaries; Assigns credit ratings to Athene Annuity Re Ltd. – InsuranceNewsNet


OLDWICK, NJ–(BUSINESS WIRE)–
AM Best affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and the long-term issuer credit ratings (long-term ICR) of “a+” (Excellent) of the members of Athena Group (Athena). Athene, which focuses on the market segments of group retirement annuities, funding arrangements, fixed indexed annuities and fixed annuities, is the consolidation of the organization’s activities WE operating companies, as well as its affiliated reinsurance companies domiciled Bermuda. In addition, AM Best confirmed the long-term ICR of “bbb+” (good), the existing long-term issue credit ratings (long-term IRs) and indicative long-term IRs of Athene Holding Ltd. . (Bermuda). Athens Holding Ltd. operates as a holding company for the WE and Bermuda operations. The outlook for these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. (See below for a detailed list of companies and ratings.)

At the same time, AM Best has assigned an FSR of A (Excellent) and a long-term ICR of “a+” (Excellent) to Athens Annuity Re Ltd. (Bermuda). The outlook attributed to this rating is stable.

The ratings reflect Athene’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as very strong, as well as its strong operational performance, favorable business profile and appropriate management of business risks.

AM Best considers Athene’s consolidated risk-adjusted capitalization to be the strongest, as measured by Best’s capital adequacy ratio (BCAR), and supported by favorable financial flexibility. Athene has demonstrated its ability to access capital markets and maintains additional access to capital and liquidity through a revolving credit facility, Federal mortgage bank borrowing capacity, and a pending registration statement, as well as uncalled capital commitments from Athene Co-Invest Reinsurance Affiliates (ACRA) investors. The completed merger with Apollo Global Management, Inc. is expected to increase Athene’s financial flexibility.

Leverage measures have improved over the past year as capital growth has outpaced debt issuance. However, AM Best notes that Athene holds high allocations to more complex and less liquid investments, which could be significantly affected in adverse market conditions.

Athene has a track record of strong earnings driven by favorable earnings spreads and operating profitability, despite challenges from the persistent low interest rate environment and strong competitive pressures.

Athene’s favorable business profile reflects continued improvements through additional distribution channels in its retail markets and the expansion of its pension risk transfer business in United States and UKits increased issuance of financing contracts and its flow reinsurance channel in Japan during the last years. In addition, ACRA and the recent fixed annuity reinsurance agreement with Jackson National Life Insurance Company were accretive to earnings.

The FSR of A (Excellent) and the long-term KPIs of “a+” (Excellent) have been confirmed with a stable outlook for the following members of Athena Group:

  • Athens Annuity & Life Assurance Company
  • Athens Annuity & Life Assurance Company of New York
  • Athens Annuity and Life Company
  • Athens Life Insurance Company of New York
  • Athens Life Re Ltd.
  • Athens Life Re International Ltd.
  • Athens Co-Invest Reinsurance Affiliate International Ltd.
  • Athens Co-Invest Reinsurance Affiliate 1A Ltd.

  • Athens Co-Invest Reinsurance Affiliate 1B Ltd.

The following long-term IRs have been confirmed with a stable outlook:

Athens Holding Ltd. —

— “bbb+” (good) enabled $500 million 3.45% Senior Unsecured Notes Due 2052

— “bbb+” (good) enabled $500 million 3.95% Senior Unsecured Notes Due 2051

— “bbb+” (good) enabled $1.0 billion 4.125% Senior Unsecured Notes Due 2028

— “bbb+” (good) enabled $500 million 6.15% Senior Unsecured Notes Due 2030

— “bbb+” (good) enabled $500 million 3.5% Senior Unsecured Notes Due 2031

— “bbb-” (good) on $750 million 6.35%, Perpetual Non-Cumulative Preferred Shares, Series A

— “bbb-” (good) on $300 million 5.625%, Perpetual Non-Cumulative Preferred Shares, Series B

— “bbb-” (good) on $600 million 6.375%, preferred shares

— “bbb-” (good) on $575 million 4.875%, preferred shares

The following indicative long-term IRs have been confirmed with a stable outlook:

Athens Holding Ltd. —

— “bbb+” (good) on senior unsecured debt

— “bbb” (Good) on subordinated debt

— “bbb-” (Good) on junior subordinated debt

— “bbb-” (good) on preferred stock

This press release relates to credit ratings that have been published on AM Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and relevant disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see AM Best’s Recent Assessment Activity Web page. For more information on the use and limitations of credit rating opinions, please see Best Credit Score Guide. For more information on the proper use of Best’s Credit Ratings, Best’s Performance Ratings, Best’s Preliminary Credit Ratings, and AM Best’s press releases, please see Guide to Proper Use of Best’s Ratings and Reviews.

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specializing in the insurance industry. Based at United Statesthe company does business in more than 100 countries with regional offices in London, amsterdam, dubai, hong kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Copyright © 2022 by AM Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Louis Argents
Senior Financial Analyst

+1 908 439 2200 ext. 5802

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Edward Kohlberg
Director

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Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations

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Jim Peavy
Director, Communications

+1 908 439 2200 ext. 5644

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Source: AM Best

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